Stop Being a LinkedIn Robot

A random person walks up to you on the street and said “Hi, my name is Bob. I want to connect with you.” Your first response: “Who are you?"

LinkedIn has allowed random people to connect with us without so much as a word of who they are. This generic message has turned us into connection robots and people just go around clicking CONNECT somehow thinking that’s enough.

How often do you get this message:

Then you have to look at their thumbnail picture, try to remember where you met them, and search your inbox for their name wondering if you forgot something important. When did this become the norm? 

I meet a lot of people every week and have a tough time remembering exactly where and how I met them. I also get introduced to people via email and don’t get a chance to see their face. If I get someone’s business card, I want to make sure they remember how they met me. We’re all very busy people, true connections are tough to come by.

Recently, someone random connected with me on LinkedIn and obviously knew how connecting worked.

That’s swagger. He told me how he found me, gave me a compliment, AND asked me to connect. We’ve never met. Although I have a rule about only connecting with people I’ve never met, he had the key to my network - he wasn’t generic!

We are who we surround ourselves with.

If LinkedIn is my professional network, I should know everyone on the list. If I am who I surround myself with, I want that list to be a darn good reflection of me. Random connections are useless. Let's set some rules & expectations for LinkedIn. 

1. Be Specific
When you click that CONNECT button, tell them how you know them. Mention the event or person connecting you.

2. Be Sincere
Don’t be generic and send everyone the same note. Keep it light, but be yourself.

3. Be a Connection
When you connect, tell them how you can help them or tell them why connecting would make sense.

Get rid of the “I’d like to connect on LinkedIn.” message and make real connections. After all, it’s human-to-human (H2H), not business-to-business (B2B).

Connect with me, but don't be a robot.

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